Illegal Dumping Creates a Double Whammy for Farmers

By: Sarah Snyder
NewsWest 9

MIDLAND - They're rolling in, backing up and dumping trash hoping to avoid the cost at the landfill. Illegal dumpers are causing a big headache for area ranchers and landowners who end up footing the bill.

"It's aggravating you have to do this just because someone is too lazy to go to the dump ground," Midland Farmer, Andy Schumann, said.

Midland County farmer Andy Schumann is cleaning up a big mess. People are dumping piles of trash all over his property.

"Oh, we find tires, TV's, recliners, we've had goats dumped on us, dogs, either they die on their property and they bring them to ours to dump them," Schumann said.

And it's not cheap to pick it up - not only are farmers and ranchers hauling it away, but it's costing them big bucks with each trip to the landfill.

"You're looking at from $25-$50 a load," Schumann said.

County officials say the piles are only part of a bigger mess. In just the past year, they collected 65,000 pounds of trash and that led to 16 felony cases.

"We're always out whether it's driving or serving a paper or working, we're looking for illegal dumping and illegal activity," Midland County Constable, Choc Harris, said.

And while authorities may find hundreds of piles of loose trash, the number of junk cars adds thousands of pounds to their cleanup.

"The cleanup costs can be tremendous - anything from $500 to $10-$15,000 or even hundreds of thousands of dollars," Harris said.

Harris says they've found diapers, syringes, medication and other types of trash that creates a huge health risk.

"The trash, if there's a lot of trash in it, cows can eat it and it gets wrapped around their guts and kills them," Schumann said. "It's a hazard you take every day when people dump it on you."

"You don't know what you can find out here, and it can pollute our soil and water," Harris said.

If you see illegal dumping, pick up the phone. You can call the constable, sheriff or highway patrol.